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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Swatch Posts Huge Half-Year Gains


Swatch Group said the improved economic environment allowed the world’s largest watchmaker to increase gross sales by 22.2 percent to 3.03 billion Swiss francs ($2.9 billion) compared with the first half of 2009. This figure exceeds sales for the first half of 2008 and represents a new record. Sales increases were recorded across all segments and regions

Watch and jewelry sales, as always, was the Biel, Switzerland-based company’s main driver, rising 30.6 percent compared with the first half 2009. Net income was 54.5 percent higher at 465 million Swiss francs ($444 million), or 16.2 percent of net sales. Meanwhile, operating profit rose 81.4 percent to 626 million Swiss francs ($598 million), or 21.8 percent of net sales.

“Growth has been solid in July and we expect a strong result for the second half of 2010 in terms of both sales and profit,” the company said in a statement. “The Swatch Group will continue to expand its successful retail activities globally in the second half of 2010, for example with the opening of the Breguet boutique on the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich. The major challenge will be to quickly overcome the capacity bottlenecks which already exist in some production areas.”

Following the sudden death of Nicolas G. Hayek, Swatch Group founder and chairman of the board of directors, on June 28, the company, within 48 hours, unanimously elected Mrs. Nayla Hayek as the new chair of the board of directors. The executive positions at Breguet and Jaquet Droz, which also became vacant, were also immediately filled with the appointment of Marc A. Hayek.

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